Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi (KGSN)) is the Keralan state branch of a national organisation started in 1948 to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s life and work (Kerala Gandhi Memorial Fund). Since then, KGSN has been promoting Gandhian values throughout Kerala, the overall aim being to take the life of each village a little closer to the ideal of self-sustainability that Gandhi envisaged.
Over the years, KGSN has run a wide variety of programmes, including promoting village industries (especially khadi – hand spun and handwoven cotton cloth), communal harmony and improving health and hygiene.
Today KGSN has 19 centres of Khadi production and village industries all over Kerala and also has 30 smaller hubs across the state. Hundreds of spinners, weavers and equipment manufacturers have achieved sustainable livelihoods through KGSN and every year products worth more than 30 million rupees (approx. £300,000 are produced in the KGSN centres).
Action Village India has partnered with KGSN since 1994 and started funding ‘the balanced farming programme’ in 1995 in two panchayats in Kerala, as well as supporting a small coconut mat- making business which employed women in one of the panchayats. From 2002 KGSN became one of the pioneering organisations working on organic farming in India and from this time until 2017, AVI supported KGSN’s organic farming project, which has supported 2000, mainly Dalit and below-the-poverty-line, households each year to produce enough food for their families on small patio and roof terrace gardens.
From 2018, AVI is supporting a pilot project with KGSN to establish a farmer-producer company for organic farming in Kerala, thereby ensuring the self-sustainability of the project and the farmers’ livelihoods.
Our partnership with KGSN continued until 2020.
Promoting Organic Farming
Post Kerala Floods Response, Kerala (2018-2020)